Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Heroic at Honored

I had a bunch of other stuff to write about from the weekend, and actually did write up blog entries, but proably won't post because its just a boring recap of how I grinded through a bunch of normal and heroic instances in Hellfire Peninsula to get to Revered with HH and get the Hellforged Halberd. And some drama along the way.

Then I read over at World of Matticus, a guest post on the impact of lowering the entry to Heroics from Revered to Honored. The article goes on about how people show up in Quest blues/greens, and since Honored is easy to reach by the normal questing and just a few normal mode instance runs, people then get access to Heroic mode.

I like to read World of Matticus, and I like the guest bloggers that he's got filling in for the short term, but there's one concept on a recent entry that I have a perspective on. My rant here is not really aimed at disagreeing with Matticus or his Guest, but rather at the general atmosphere among the bloggers regarding Honored Heroics. Reading Matticus simply triggered my response.

The author (a guest writer, not the normal Matticus, not that it matters) goes on to explain how rough a time you have with Heroics now that the entry level is Honored, specifically when PUG'ing, largely due to inexperienced and undergeared players.

I'll totally agree with PUG's being like a box of chocolates, you never know what you're going to get. Normal or heroic, you really just roll the dice when you accept unknown players into your group. And with the margin for error being much smaller in Heroic mode, the impact of getting a fool or a good-but-undergeared player in your group is much more painful.

I suppose that when the entry barrier was Revered, you at least knew the person had run enough instances to grind that rep. Sure, they could have ridden on the coat tails of other players who carried them in normal mode dungeons, but it did weed out some of the painful folks. Plus, during all that instancing, there's a better chance that they did get some nicer gear, so even the good players were probably on average, better geared than those at Honored.

Ok, I can buy that concept, and see some of the logic there.

But here's my view as a player who very recently levelled up to 70 right around the time when they lowered the requirement to Honored. For me, this is an outstanding opportunity. Here I am, me and a small group of friends. Freshly minted 70's. Some of the friends have a piece or two of PVP epic gear. Most of us are in nicely enchanted quest or AH blues/greens. I just got my first piece of the Beastlord set this weekend. In general, poorly geared.

We are running heroics. Granted, we're wiping up a storm in there. But we're doing it.

And you know what? I think the exact thing that the author of Matticus' article dislikes, is actually the benefit we're going to acheive from this.

The difference between entry at Revered and entry at Honored is one of where the learning curve occurs.

Most people who've ranted about this entry to Heroic mode say that people learn to play as a team and get gear from Kara and other 10- and 25-man raids. And that prepares them for Heroics. People shouldn't show up to run a heroic dungeon unless they meet some arbitrary stats that are impossible to achieve without the gear from the nice raids.

The new age is here and us n00b 70's are going to do it exactly the opposite. We're going to learn real teamwork in Heroics and gear up in Heroics. That is where we're going to prepare for Kara.

If you think about it, this makes more sense. Levelling up, you can run instances. There's some focus on ensuring the well-armored team members take most of the damage, but in the end, if you fail to master tank/healer/dps, just come back in a level or two and pwn the dungeon anyways.

Even the end game normal mode instances can let some of this slide, and leave lots of room for slop.

Then you get a group of 10 people together and enter Karazhan. And learn the hard way that plate is a lot stronger than cloth, and all the fun ways to ensure that plate takes the hits while cloth (and leather and mail) deliver the damage. In this rather complicated environment, with all the logicstical challenges of organizing 10 keyed players of appropriate class distribution, you waste a lot of time as those 10 folks (or more, to allow for subs or absence) learn that holy trinity of tank/healer/dps.

Patch 2.3 came and went. The new 70's are learning this concept by "wasting" only 5 people's time. In Heroics. Sometimes PUG'ing to fill slots.

As we start to hit Karazhan, we're going to be better for it, even if the olde time "Heroics at Revered" crowd thinks we did it backwards and painfully.


Pike said...

As a soon-to-be-70 myself, you make a very good point =)

kestrelsaerie said...

As one who's done neither heroics nor Kara, I think you make an excellent point. My priest is pretty well geared, but my hunter is still lacking a couple key pieces. I might consider tackling a heroic with the priest, but I'd be more hesitant with the hunter.

Of course, I'd like to get both of them through all the 5-mans on non-heroic first--and that seems to be harder to do than pug a bunch of heroics.

Dammerung said...


Nice twist.

I've read a lot of dislike regarding this change and I tend to fall on the "if it can be harder than it SHOULD be harder so please don't ask that it be easier"

But I appreciate this point of view and like the idea that I can practice for Raiding via Heroics. And the idea that if I get -good- at Heroics I should be able to follow directions well enough to be good at Kara.

Of course in WoW I'm perpetually below level 35 but THIS time I swear I'll stick it out and get to 70.